- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Senate Republicans confirmed one of President Trump’s judicial nominees to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Tuesday and will flip the federal appeals court to a majority of Republican-appointed active judges with another confirmation later this week.

It will be the third federal appeals court to be turned to a GOP-majority under the president’s promise to remake the federal judiciary with a conservative bent.

Judge Robert J. Luck cleared the Senate Tuesday by a 64 to 31 vote.

Judge Luck currently serves on the Florida Supreme Court, where he was appointed earlier this year by Gov. Ron DeSantis. He has been a judge in lower Florida courts since 2013. Prior to that, Judge Luck served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida.

With the addition of Judge Luck, the circuit now has six active Republican-appointed judges and six Democratic-appointed ones. When adding senior judges to that count, the circuit has 11 GOP-appointed and nine Democratic.

Mike Davis, president of The Article III Project which backs Mr. Trump’s judicial nominees, said it’s important for the president to flip the federal appeals courts so when cases that decide binding law for the circuit are heard by the full panel of active judges, Republicans are at an advantage.

“As you see President Trump flip these critically important federal circuit courts and transform the judiciary, it reminds Republicans and conservatives why elections matter,” Mr. Davis said.

Mr. Trump also has two more nominees pending for the 11th Circuit: Judge Barbara Lagoa, who is also a justice on the Florida Supreme Court, and Judge Andrew Brasher, who currently sits on the Middle District of Alabama.

Judge Lagoa is expected to be confirmed later this week, flipping the active amount of judges to seven GOP appointed and six Democratic.

This will be the third federal appeals court to flip control to a majority of Republican-appointed judges under the president.

He flipped the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March, which now has eight active judges appointed by a Republican president and six by a Democratic president.

And earlier this month the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has also flipped to majority GOP-appointed judges. The breakdown on that bench is now seven Republican-appointed active judges to six Democratic.

Since taking office, Mr. Trump has confirmed two Supreme Court justices, 47 federal appeals court judges, and 112 federal district court judges.

• Alex Swoyer can be reached at aswoyer@washingtontimes.com.

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